SNP MEP Calls For "Modern, Civilised, European" Fixed Terms For Westminster

08 October 2007
SNP MEP Mr Alyn Smith has today (Monday) published research on how other European countries organise their elections and written to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to suggest that the UK should follow suit.

Fixed term elections would end the current political farce where oneperson in Downing Street can skew the entire London based political system to suit themselves.

Only four EU member states have variable election dates, with 23 member states; the European Parliament; Scottish Parliament and the Welsh, Northern Irish and London assemblies all operating on fixed terms.

Mr Smith said:

"The SNP was ready for an election now and we'll be ready whenever Mr Brown has the courage to go to the country.

"The big issue that emerges from this farcical will-he-won't-he charade is that this is no sensible way to run a country.

"Major policy decisions and announcements have been changed to suit an election that isn't coming rather than been made in the best interests of the UK and it annoys me that Scotland is affected by this farce.

"I have written to Mr Brown more in hope than expectation. Fixed terms are the norm not the exception and other countries find the idea of leaving elections to the whim of one political party a strange and undemocratic way to do business.

"There are 23 EU member states with fixed elections. The EuropeanParliament, the Scottish Parliament, and the Welsh, Northern Irish and London Assemblies all have fixed terms.

"Until Scotland need no longer participate in UK elections we can at least ask for those elections to be conducted in a modern, coherent and sensible manner."